By Paul Kennedy
Juergen Klinsmann wants more time to decide whether he will remain as Germany coach.
Klinsmann is considered the leading candidate to replace Bruce Arenaas U.S. national team coach if Arena's contract is not renewed, but he's under heavy pressure to remain as Germany coach, despite objections to his living in and working out of California.
The Stuttgart crowd of 52,000 chanted Klinsmann's name after Germany's 3-1 win over Portugal in the third-place game. Franz Beckenbauer, the head of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee and one-time critic of Klinsmann's methods, pleaded with Klinsmann to continue.
"The Kaiser said, 'You'd better keep going.'" Klinsmann "I told him, 'Let's wait and see what happens."
Klinsmann says he's honored he's held in such high esteem by Beckenbauer, who coached him when Germany won the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
"Those words came from his heart," said Klinsmann. "For me as a young guy and young coach to get such a compliment like that from Franz Beckenbauer, it's a special moment."
Even FIFA President Sepp Blatterhas suggested that Klinsmann remain as Germany national team coach.
"I hope that he'll stay longer, they've achieved something here," Blatter said. "With their beautiful and attacking style, they've done something for football.
"I'll tell him to stay but he has to decide. The whole country wants him to stay but he has to decide himself."
Klinsmann said he was overwhelmed by the compliments he and his players and staff have received.
"I can't put it into words," he said. "It can't get any better than this. I need a few days to be able to understand all of this. So much has crashed down upon our heads, on the team and the coaches. We'd always warned everyone that the World Cup would be an avalanche, but we didn't know it was going to be as massive an avalanche as this."
Bidding on Klinsmann's Bug approaches $400,000
As evidence of the Klinsmania that swept Germany, the auction price on eBay for a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle that once belonged to Klinsmann has tripled to 300,000 euros ($383,200).
The auction on the blue VW convertible drove in 1994 and 1995 began on July 1 and ends Tuesday. The bidding price is well above the $245,000 an internet casino paid last year for a used Volkswagen Golf once by Pope Benedict XVI.
Klinsmann's opinion on his old Bug: "I really couldn't recommend bidding for that car. It was already completely rusty when I got rid of it."